Design a process flowsheet that allows the treatment of petalite, spodumene and potentially other lithium mineral concentrates


Avalon and Rock Tech Lithium to collaborate on development of lithium process facility. (Credit: Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay)

Avalon Advanced Materials and is pleased to announce it has entered into a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Rock Tech Lithium Inc. (“Rock Tech”) to collaborate on the development of a lithium battery materials process facility in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This facility would be designed to accept lithium mineral concentrates from Avalon’s Separation Rapids Lithium Project (70 km north of Kenora) and Rock Tech’s Georgia Lake Lithium Project (145 km northeast of Thunder Bay), as well as potentially other emerging, new lithium mining operations in northern Ontario, to produce lithium sulphate, a precursor chemical for lithium-ion batteries.

Avalon and Rock Tech have determined the next steps as follows:

Design a process flowsheet that allows the treatment of petalite, spodumene and potentially other lithium mineral concentrates. The product of the flowsheet will be lithium sulphate, that can either be shipped off site or locally upgraded to lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide.
Conduct a piloting campaign using this process flowsheet to prove scalability of the process to industrial scale and Feasibility level.
Identify alternative applications for high purity aluminum silicate by-product in other industries, such as the cement or ceramics industry.
Comments Avalon’s President and CEO, Don Bubar, “Northern Ontario has the potential to become a major producer of lithium-ion battery materials, including cobalt, nickel, graphite and manganese, and Thunder Bay is an ideal central location to serve as a hub for establishing these supply chains. Once established they can be the catalyst for the creation of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing business in Ontario, along with electric vehicle manufacturing, as recently announced by Premier Ford. We look forward to working with Rock Tech to advance this exciting opportunity to help establish a new lithium supply chain in Canada that can also provide a secure supply source for Canada’s European and International allies.”

Avalon’s 100% owned Separation Rapids lithium deposit is one of the largest “complex-type” lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite deposits in the world, unusual in its enrichment in the rare, high purity lithium mineral petalite. Petalite offers potential to produce a high purity lithium derivative product at a relatively low cost for battery applications, as well as being an important industrial mineral product for specialty glass-ceramic applications. In August 2018, Avalon completed an updated Preliminary Economic Assessment with a development model that would start with the production of the petalite mineral product for glass applications to be followed by lithium battery materials production once a process facility is established. That plan could be acceleratated under the new initiative planned by Rock Tech and Avalon.

Source: Company Press Release